LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Society of Professional Journalists awarded Molly McDonough Carson of the Chicago Headline Club and Elizabeth Kelly Klay of the Southwest Missouri Pro Chapter the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Awards.
Two awards are given annually; one from chapters of more than 75 members and one from chapters with fewer than 75 members.
Carson and Klay will be recognized tonight during the President’s Installation Banquet at the 2005 SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference. The banquet was held at the Aladdin Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
As a member of the Chicago Headline Club, Carson helped transform the non-profit status of the club to one able to receive donations and grants with tax deductible status. She then founded the club’s foundation to raise money and disperse grants and scholarships. Carson also recruited its first board of directors and served as its president.
“None of the current officers could imagine putting on any event without her guidance and expertise to show us the way to get it done, and done well,” said Meg Tebo, the club’s president-elect.
Carson is currently organizing a Holiday Book Bash fundraiser and spearheading the Watchdog Award and Watchdog Fund, acknowledging the journalist whose work best exemplifies the ideals of open and honest government through an investigative work.
Klay is the award recipient from the Southwest Missouri Pro Chapter of less than 75 members. Under her leadership, the Chapter has earned three-star chapter status, was named the best small chapter in Region 7, and in 2004 won the national Circle of Excellence award for campus relations. The Chapter also held the regional conference for the first time in a decade.
“She’s smart enough to recognize her strengths and the strengths of those around her,” said the Chapter’s Board of Directors. “She builds a team that is greater than the sum of all those parts. That’s what leadership is all about.”
Klay has been a SPJ member since she was a student at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. She was president of the chapter the year it was named the best student group in the country and served as a student member of the national board. She has recently served on the professional development committee and presented at the Scripps Leadership Retreat in June of 2005.
The Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award salutes individual professional members who have made significant contributions to their SPJ chapter. Individuals must be nominated by their chapter’s board of directors.
The Society of Professional Journalists works to improve and protect journalism. The organization is the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry, works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists, and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.